Chris James: Where a new customer experience maintains gold standard in quality and value

*Paid Business Feature*

Chris James, located at 523 Ontario Street, now features their entire inventory online, and has plans for an app to help customers through pandemic challenges. Image via Chris James.

Chris James, a high-end fashion retailer in downtown Kingston that specializes in expert advice on fashion and style — including personalized consultations to both men and women looking for the right pieces and a perfect fit — has recently launched an online store to continue to support their clientele through pandemic challenges.

Chris James showcases products from both Canadian and international designers, and has more products available than their 2,700-square-foot storefront can display. Now, through their expanded website, customers can view all the items in Chris James’ inventory, and place orders for delivery or pick-up.

“Last year, we realized we needed to explore ways of making our customers’ shopping experience easier given the current state of the world,” explained Christine Ray-Bratt, owner of Chris James. “We opened our online store, which has allowed us to really look at what the customers are telling us through their buying behaviour so that we can curate appropriate and desirable items for our clientele accordingly.”

In the new year, Chris James plans to launch some new initiatives, in part thanks to the information they are now able to collect and analyze from the expanded website and online store. For example, the fashion retailer has always offered a rewards program, and is planning to launch an app to allow customers to keep track of their purchases, reward points, and unique offers remotely. Ray-Bratt said that they also hope to incorporate a virtual style fit component into the app to allow customers to virtually ‘try on’ clothing items.

“One of the biggest barriers to online shopping — even for me as a professional buyer — is the fact that I can’t actually tell how it’s going to fit on my body,” Ray-Bratt said. “We’re working with a company to develop, in the app, an avatar based on measurements, in order to fit the garments onto what that avatar would be, hopefully taking some of the hassle out of online shopping.”

The pandemic has created changes both for business and for shopping experiences, she expressed.

“It’s been a very difficult and challenging year for many. Overall, I think people are resisting ‘over-consumption,’ and are transitioning the gifts they’re buying for people,” Ray-Bratt observed.

“There has been a big push to buy things that matter, quality over quantity, local love for stores in our community that pay that support forward by supporting local give back campaigns,” she expressed. “This year, people are taking a lot more time, and finding items that feel more personal, with a strong sense of value mirroring.”

And that’s just the feeling they encourage at Chris James. Personal and individualized service is their specialty. They continue to provide that excellent service in person at 253 Ontario Street, at their e-commerce store, over email and telephone, and through their pick-up and delivery service.

This article is sponsored by Chris James. Interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist? Contact [email protected]

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